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[Updated] Zero Budget Natural Farming – The Key to Sustainable Agriculture

While addressing the United Nations conference on desertification (COP-14), Indian PM told the global community that India is focusing on Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF). ZBNF was also mentioned in budget 2019 for doubling farmer’s income by 2022.

But scientists from the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences argued that there is no need for the government to promote ZBNF unless there is proper scientific validation.

Nitrogen Pollution – The Biggest Environmental Threat

The UN Environment in its Frontiers report mentioned that Nitrogen Pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats faced by humans today and needs urgent measures from countries around the world.Nitrogen is essential for life, however, the excess nitrogen pollution has huge consequences on humans and the environment. It is 300 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas besides its negatives effects on air quality and the ozone layer.Altogether, humans are emitting a huge amount of reactive nitrogen that threatens health, climate, and ecosystems, making nitrogen one of the most important pollution issues facing humanity.However, pollution caused by Nitrogen is being overlooked by governments and they focus only on carbon emissions, thus ignoring the growing risks to health and the environment.

Climate Smart Agriculture in India – Benefits and Key Initiatives

India’s agricultural sector has seen a considerable threat from climate change and it directly impacts the daily lives of farmers. A study found that climate change could have contributed to the deaths of more than 50,000 farmers or farm workers over the last 30 years. Thus the efforts to make agriculture resilient to climate must be increased and sustained in order to avoid the impacts of a warming world.

GM Crops in India – Pros & Cons

Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, growing GM crops that are not approved by the government can result in a five-year jail term and a hefty ₹1 lakh fine. Yet a Haryana farmer had grown a genetically modified (GM) variant of brinjal which is banned under the law that has landed him in controversy and the officials had forced him to uproot the crop.

There are two arguments regarding GM crops – one is “its potential in terms of increased crop yields & shelf life in the context of climate change events” and the other one is the “concern regarding its reliability and impacts on the environment and human health”.

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